Ten Ways to Prevent Your Husband from Becoming the Godly Man You’ve Always Wanted

First, let me set something straight – I assure you that I am NOT even remotely implying that it’s your fault if your husband is an unbeliever or lacks maturity in his faith. His relationship with Jesus is ultimately his responsibility. However, as wives we exert a powerful influence in our husbands’ lives, and we get to choose whether that influence encourages or discourages them in their pursuit of Jesus. How we treat them matters . . . a lot! We’re fooling ourselves (and ignoring a whole lot of Scripture!) if we think it doesn’t.

What your husband needs most is a humble helpmate, not another Holy Spirit; a gracious companion, not another preacher; a compassionate cheerleader, not another critic. I married an incredible man who loves the Lord, but it only took about 5 minutes of marriage to realize that my sinful tendency to control, manipulate, dominate, and criticize was not going to die easy. The latter part of Genesis 3:16* is alive and well in us, girls. Either we declare war on it, or it will declare war on us – and our marriages will be among the most heartbreaking casualties.

The following list is intended to expose some of the most ineffective and disrespectful tactics wives use to “fix” their husband’s relationship with the Lord. I have not done all of these, but I’d be lying if told you that the majority of them didn’t stem from first-hand experience. I have grown particularly good at #9 over the years, and the Lord and I have been working overtime to correct it. Aren’t you just over-the-top thankful that no habit is beyond God’s ability to change?!  Galatians 5:16-26!!!

So, here they are in no particular order: Ten Ways to Prevent Your Husband from Becoming the Godly Man You’ve Always Wanted . . .

1)      Subtly (or not so subtly) compare him with other “godlier” men. “Can you believe Jennifer’s husband prays with her every night before they go to bed?”


2)      Use your kids as tools to guilt him into godliness. “How is Johnny ever going to love Jesus if you don’t lead us in family devotions every day?”


3)      Talk a lot about Jesus, but refuse to sacrificially serve like Him. “Last time I checked I was your wife, not your maid!”


4)      Come home from church, Bible study, or a Christian conference in a bad mood. “The last thing I want to do after an intense morning at Bible study is come home and clean up after you! [Insert rant here].”

5)      Make physical intimacy dependent on spiritual intimacy. “I’d be more attracted to you/we’d have a better sex life if we were more spiritually connected.”

6)      Constantly nag him about reading his Bible, having a quiet time, etc. “So I guess sleeping and/or reading the newspaper is more important than reading GOD’S HOLY WORD?!”

7)      Make him feel like a spawn of Satan every time he suggests a movie, TV show, song, etc. that doesn’t jive with your personal convictions. “Are you kidding me?! I WILL NOT watch that TRASH! I CANNOT BELIEVE you would even suggest it!”

8)      Fill your free time with building your ministry instead of building your marriage. “Not now honey, I’m working on a blog post.” (This one is not at all an issue for me. Ha!)


9)      Use sarcasm to highlight his shortcomings.You’ll be glad to know I dusted your Bible today.”


10)   Refuse to value his opinions and/or submit to his decisions unless he’s really “prayed about it”. “I want to let you lead, but I just can’t until I know you’ve really prayed and searched the Scriptures.”


First Peter 3:1 and 2 (which follows the most stunning description of Christ’s humility and submission in the face of suffering) says, “Wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” Do you want your husband to have a saving relationship with Jesus and to grow in His faith? Do you want him to be the godly man you’ve always dreamed of? Here’s your role in that: Talk less, submit more, and show him the beauty of a life that reflects the humble, sacrificial, unconditional love of the Savior you long for him to know.

*”To the woman [God] said . . .your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Gen. 3:16b (desire = desire to rule/control, same word as in Gen. 4:7)




  1. You have been blessed with a great deal of wisdom, Aprile. Thank you for your post!

  2. Mine is more of a question. So how do you respond to these things with Godly principles instead of being disrespectful? I feel it’s my job to tell my husband that what he listens to and watches is completely inappropriate and I don’t want it around our kids. How do I learn to make sure that my kids are not fallen victim to these things while also showing respect to my husband. My husband is a new Christian of about 2 years and it seems like he is slowing down instead of speeding up with the direction of his faith. I have to shamefully admit that I am more than guilty with a majority of these things you have listed. I want to be better and I want my marriage to be better, but how do I apply this truly to my everyday life and keep my kids out of harms way in the process? I also wanted to let you know that I typed in google search “what do you do when your husband won’t be the Godly man you need him to be” your blog popped up in the search and it was the first thing that I clicked on. When I started reading what you wrote I was just beside myself. I had just minutes before reading this committed at least 5 of these acts to my husband in the last hour. I felt so ashamed and I knew that God was truly speaking to me through your words. Thank You!

    • Stacy,

      Such a good question – one that is heavy on the heart of any woman whose husband’s spiritual maturity lags far behind her own. When you add children into the mix, it gets complicated, doesn’t it? My own little one is about to wake up, so I don’t have time to really respond to your question now. I will though! I am so thankful that the Lord led you to this little blog of mine and that He is working in your heart. I just paused and prayed for you and your family. I look foward to thinking through this with you.

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